Chief Medical Officers in Ireland and Northern Ireland appeal for no unnecessary cross border travel
“We must prevent further spread of this virus and we can only do so by working together to protect each other.”
The Acting Chief Medical Officer for the Republic of Ireland and the Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland have issued a joint appeal to people living in border counties not to travel across the border unless absolutely necessary.
The Chief Medical Officers, Dr Ronan Glynn and Dr Michael McBride, also urged employers to make every effort to facilitate employees to work from home in so far as is possible.
Dr Glynn and Dr McBride jointly appealed to the public across the island of Ireland to continue to follow public health advice to keep themselves and others safe.
They noted specific concern with regard to the significant proportion of cases in young people in both Donegal and Derry, and appealed to teenagers and those in their 20s and 30s in particular to reduce their social contacts.
The CMOs said that they realise that the appeal not to travel across the border “will not be welcome news but we must prevent further spread of this virus and we can only do so by working together to protect each other”.
Dr Glynn and Dr McBride met on Friday morning (25 September) to review the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the growing prevalence of the virus in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
They discussed the need ongoing cooperation between the respective public health teams and said that close collaboration between the relevant authorities in both jurisdictions would continue and strengthen in the coming days.
The meeting follows confirmation on Thursday that Donegal would move to Level 3 Status for the next three weeks following an escalation in the number of cases in the county in recent weeks.
In the last two weeks, the number of cases per 100,000 people in Donegal has risen to 148.2, the highest in the country. In the area of Lifford and Stranorlar alone, it has increased to 336 cases per 100,000 people.
On the other side of the border, the number of cases in Derry and Strabane is 122.1 per 100,000 people, the highest in all council areas in Northern Ireland.
“Given the current number of new cases in Donegal and neighbouring areas of NI in Derry, Strabane and Fermanagh we would appeal to everyone to avoid all but necessary travel across the border,” read a joint statement by Dr Glynn and Dr McBride.
“It is also recommended that employers on both sides of the border make every effort to facilitate employees to work from home in so far as is possible. We realise that for those living in border areas this will not be welcome news but we must prevent further spread of this virus and we can only do so by working together to protect each other.”